May 13, 2014 4:13 pm

WATCH: Promising stats point to positive push for Kelowna economy

KELOWNA — It appears to be good news on the unemployment and housing front for Kelowna.

According to Statistics Canada, Kelowna’s unemployment rate dropped 2.1 per cent from this time last year, from 7.2 per cent to 5.1 per cent for the month of April.

While the unemployment rate in the city is currently sixth lowest in Canada, it’s harder for people to find full-time permanent jobs according to a local employment agency.

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“It is taking time for people to say okay, before they make that final decision and judgement call to say okay we are going to hire three more people,” says Platinum Personnel President Sherri Chapman.

Chapman says more employers are hiring employees on a temporary basis, until they’re certain the candidate is a good fit for a permanent position

When the unemployment rate hovered at 5.2 per cent in October of 2005, it was a challenge for local businesses to find workers, but according to another local staffing agency this time around that isn’t the case.

“There seems to be more opportunities and people getting jobs faster,” says Okanagan Staffing Services President, Kevin Renwick, “but we’re also seeing certain employers laying people off.”

Renwick says there is a lot of volatility in the market right now and “while there are opportunities, they can leave quickly.”

Meantime, the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board (OMREB) is reporting a positive push for the month of April, with a 26 per cent spike in sales over the same month in 2013.

“The Okanagan-Shuswap housing market moved out of a buyer’s market into a balanced market during April following a steady growth in sales and declining inventory,” says Darcy Griffiths, OMREB President.

“With prices remaining stable and record low interest rates still available, buyers who have been sitting on the fence may be poised to enter the market, while sellers will be listing homes with more confidence.”

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